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Govt mulls rescheduling of budget session

April 01, 2010 02:56 IST

There is a serious move afoot to reschedule the second half of the budget session of the Parliament with sources disclosing that leader of the Lok Sabha and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee would discuss the rescheduling of dates in the meeting of floor leaders of political parties which he has called on April 5.

It is learnt that the Women's Reservation Bill is not the only item on the agenda when Pranab Mukherjee meets the leaders of political parties in the Parliament on Monday.

The government had made a commitment that it would consult all political parties on the women's bill, and that is why it is going ahead with the consultations, even though all political parties are continuing with the positions they took in the Rajya Sabha.

Union Law Minister Veerapa Moily on Tuesday made it clear that the government would go ahead and pass the same bill which was passed in the Rajya Sabha without any changes, and that it would be brought in the second half of the budget session, which reconvenes on April 15.

All India Congress Committee spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan has also said that the government would want to pass the same bill without any changes and efforts would be on to convince various political leaders to support the government on this.

It is learnt that the basic reason for the change of schedule is the visit of the Union finance minister to Washington for a meeting of the International Monetary Fund on April 24. Since Pranab Mukherjee is the leader of the Lok Sabha, sources say he does not want the House to run in his absence, as he would like to be present to handle any problem that may arise.

Apart from that, there is the meeting of SAARC at the end of April in Bhutan with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh going there on April 27 after he returns from his USA and Brazil visit on April 18.

Along with this, sources say that in May there is the municipal polls in West Bengal, and as such, both Trinamool leader Mamta Banerjee and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee would prefer the House to remain shut down, as they would be busy campaigning for this very crucial election.

The proposal at the moment is to shut down the House after the finance bill is passed and then have a longer monsoon session to make up for the lost working hours.

For the moment, the government is clear on one issue, that the finance bill needs to be passed and that too without cut motions.

Sources say that the strategy of the government may be a little different with finance minister not in a mood to take any chances with cut motions, which the Left and even the Bharatiya Janata Party have been threatening.

The issue of price rise remains a sensitive matter for the government as it has the potential of bringing in a large number of political parties on a single platform against the government, as it happened in the first half of the budget session.

Renu Mittal in New Delhi